Government oilsands co-chairperson goes to bat for anti-pipeline B.C. NDP
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Government oilsands co-chairperson goes to bat for anti-pipeline B.C. NDP

The co-chairperson of a group providing oilsands advice to the Alberta government has placed her support firmly behind the anti-pipeline B.C. NDP ahead of that province's election next week.

Tzeporah Berman told The Tyee magazine that an NDP government in the province "would be a huge leap forward on climate change."

She also criticized David Suzuki's endorsement of the Green Party, arguing it could lead to vote splitting and another term for Christy Clark's Liberals.

British Columbia's NDP leader John Horgan has condemned the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline expansion to Vancouver.

He and Premier Rachel Notley discussed the issue when she headed west after its approval, but the two agreed to disagree.

An outspoken critic

Notley has barred Alberta NDP staff from helping out with the B.C. wing of the party but has said in the past Berman is free to speak her mind on environmental issues.

Berman certainly has done so, arguing against the Kinder Morgan expansion and comparing Alberta's oilsands to Mordor.

Environment Minister Shannon Phillips echoed Notley's past comments on Monday, saying Canadians are free to support whatever political party they want.

Phillips can't see her government and Berman ever seeing eye to eye on pipelines, but said they both share a belief in the importance of reducing oilsands emissions.

Phillips said she's not worried an NDP victory in British Columbia would spell the end of the Kinder Morgan project.

That project and an Enbridge expansion were both given the green light by Ottawa in November, and Phillips pointed to their approval by the National Energy Board and a number of indigenous and other communities along the route as proof they will be built.

"(The) Kinder Morgan expansion project is in not just Alberta’s best interests but Canada’s best interests," Phillips said.

The oilsands advisory group was formed last July.

Members are entitled to $601 for each day of work more than eight hours long, plus travel and living expenses. Berman's total remuneration was not provided by government by deadline.

egraney@postmedia.com

twitter.com/EmmaLGraney

source : Calgary SUN
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